More than 150 COFOA leaders from Lempa Valley demonstrated at the offices of the MOP (Ministry of Public Works) in San Salvador to demand the new minister, Eliud Ayala, keep promises made for the past 15 years to build the bridge on the Rio Roldan.
The group, led by Anglican Bishop David Alvarado, entered the offices of Vice Minister Emilio Martin Ventura to negotiate a response. The minister came out and told the group he would call on March 23 to report on the steps that will be taken by the agency responsible for building the foundation of the bridge. , He also agreed to a next meeting on April 6. Leaders listened attentively, ended the peaceful protest, and returned to Usulutan with new hope, but warned that failure by MOP meet again will result in further demonstrations.
The demonstration received broad TV coverage. You can find links here. COFOA leaders have been fighting for three years to secure construction of the bridge. During rainy seasons, families are not able to access health care and other vital services and farmers are not able to move livestock and crops to market. COFOA leaders are also exercising electoral activism. Because of broken promises, the long-serving mayor in the area was voted out of office in the March elections. COFOA leaders also made the public aware that they will be holding the former minister of public works and likely FMLN party candidate for president in the 2019 election accountable for his commitments to complete the bridge.